Dr. Thai V. Le

Dr. Thai V. Le (he/him) earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, where his research focused on issues of social equity. His dissertation examines the diverging pathways to citizenship and immigrant integration in the United States and extrapolates the multiplicative effects of racialized and gendered barriers within immigrant communities. As a mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Le utilizes statistical models, ethnographic practices, and spatial tools to study a range of issues, including naturalization outcomes, regressive and discriminatory local financing practices, the digital divide, emotional justice, and burnout among public sector workers. In uplifting social equity and intersectionality, his research also disaggregates data to elevate the narratives of marginalized and minoritized communities. Dr. Le’s postdoctoral work takes a mixed-methods approach in exploring the immigrant integration landscape in California to identify strategies in mobilizing and organizing hard-to-reach immigrant populations.

In addition to producing research that contributes to positive social change, Dr. Le’s primary goal as an activist and scholar is to teach students foundational skills that will prepare them to advocate for a just society centering equity.

Dr. Le is originally from Mississippi but was raised in Southern California where he also earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in International Development Studies, Asian American Studies, and Political Science. After UCLA, Dr. Le lived abroad for several years as an English Teacher, Peace Corps Volunteer, and youth development organizer. Dr. Le’s passions in life beyond his advocacy work include traveling and eating noodles.

Dr. Deisy Del Real


Dr. Deisy Del Real’s completed her Ph.D. at UCLA. Her dissertation work focuses on Documenting the Undocumented, addressing the relationship between regional and national government policies, and uncovered the factors and power dynamics that shaped the South American states’ ratification and implementation of the Mercosur Residency Agreements (2002). These agreements were the first immigration policies to make legal status a substantive right, requiring states to provide undocumented immigrants with legal residency. You can learn more about her work here. Dr. Del Real’s postdoctoral work will analyze how immigrants are affected by the uneven implementation of the Residency Agreements in South America. Venezuelan immigration to other South American countries has increased by 900% in the last three years and most are moving to Argentina, Chile, and Columbia.



Dr. Nicole Arlette Hirsch



Dr. Nicole Arlette Hirsch received her B.A. in sociology from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. Her dissertation was entitled: Advocacy and Anti-Racism: How Institutions Shape Organizational Responses to Racially Biased Policing in France and the United States. Her research interests include race relations, social change, organizations, and comparative research. Broadly, her work considers how individuals, groups, and organizations confront stigmatization, discrimination, and racism in the United States and Europe.

Prior to joining the department of sociology at the University of Southern California as a Turpanjian Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Hirsch held the Gerardo Marín Predoctoral Fellowship at the University of San Francisco where she taught “Race and Resistance” and “African American Culture and Society” in the sociology department. Dr. Hirsch’s research has been supported by the Chateaubriand Fellowship offered by the French Embassy, the Harvard University Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies’ dissertation research fellowship, and several grants from the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives program. Dr. Hirsch has been a visiting scholar at the National Institute for Demographic Research in Paris, France and an exchange scholar at U.C. Berkeley. Some of her recent articles can be found here.


Dr. Hajar Yazdiha



Hajar Yazdiha received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research examines the mechanisms underlying the racialized politics of inclusion and exclusion. This work intersects subfields of race and ethnicity, immigration, social movements, culture, and law using mixed methods including interview, survey, historical, and computational text analysis. This research takes shape through three interrelated streams of inquiry: the first explores how intergroup boundaries and ethno-racial identities are constituted through macro-structures like laws, policies, and media. A second strand examines the consequences of these ethno-racial projects for collective behavior, collective action, and immigrant incorporation. A third strand examines how these ethno-racial projects get embodied and shape mental and physical health. This body of research works to trace how systems of inequality are reproduced and examine how everyday actors develop strategies to resist, contest, and create social change. Learn more about Hajar here.